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Fellow Film Club Members & Movie Buffs:


The Producer’s theme for this month is: Drawing Lines: The Art of Documentary,

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Alright, we survived May Day, & things are quieting down in Baltimore, & even as people are still  being shot in Texas by Islamic extremists for continuing to draw cartoons of Mohammad–we can take a deep breath & refocus on both our lovely Spring days, & the next exciting film screened by the Tacoma Film Club this Friday, May 8, 2015. It will be THE THIN BLUE LINE (1988), written & directed by Errol Morris.

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Errol Morris is one of the most dedicated & successful documentary film makers ever; his films helped create an Art House rebirth of the non-fiction film. After the critical success of his first two films, he found that financing became scarce, so to make ends meet, he became a New York private detective. This experience & new mind set helped him to begin to craft documentaries in a unique way.

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He worked on THE THIN BLUE LINE for six years. His use of a diverse, dynamic, & haunting musical score written by Philip Glass was an example of his new approach to documentaries. His use of multiple points of view garnered critical comparisons to Kurosawa’s RASHOMON (which, of course, we just screened last Friday)–& his filming style has been compared to the artistry of Hitchcock.


He invented a film technique he called Interrotin. He used two cameras, one on him, & the other on the interviewee. Each could see the other’s image as they stared directly into the lens, giving the audience feel that each of them was speaking directly to them.


He hosted a cable TV show for a season called FIRST PERSON, & he did an award-winning portrait of Temple Grandin. He did one of the best films about Stephan Hawking. He did films on both Robert McNamara & Donald Rumsfeld. He won an Oscar for THE FOG OF WAR (2003). He did try his hand at directing a fictional feature film, THE DARK WIND (1991), produced by Robert Redford, but it was a failure, so he stuck to documentaries from then on.


He has written & directed 28 films since 1978, including A BRIEF HISTORY OF TIME (1991), MR. DEATH (1999), THE FOG OF WAR (2003), TABLOID (2010), & THE UNKNOWN KNOWN (2013), & he did two short films for the Academy Awards in 2002 & 2007.

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The musical score was written by incomparable Philip Glass, who has written scores for 122 films since 1968, including KOYAANISQUATSI (1982), MISHAMA (1985), MINDWALK (1990), A BRIEF HISTORY OF TIME (1991), BENT  (1997), KUNDUN (1997), NAQOYQUATSI (2002), THE HOURS (2002), FOG OF WAR (2003), & THE ILLUSIONIST (2006).

The cinematography was done by Robert Chappell & Stefan Czapsky,


Robert Chappell has lensed 23 films since 1982, including almost all of the films by Errol Morris.


Stefan Czapsky has lensed 21 films since 1986, including VAMPIRE’S KISS (1988), LAST EXIT FROM BROOKLYN (1989), EDWARD SCISSORHANDS (1990), BATMAN RETURNS (1992), ED WOOD (1994), BULLETPROOF MONK (2003), & SAFE (2012).

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Written & Directed by Errol Morris.

The film features, as themselves, Randall Adams, Davis Harris, & Gus Rose.


Synopsis: This is an exceptional Documentary that successfully illustrates that a man was falsely convicted of murder by an inept & corrupt justice system in Dallas, Texas.

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Rotten Tomatoes has rated the film at 100% Critic’s Approval & 91% Audience Approval. IMDb rated it at 8.1 Stars.

Roger Ebert gave it “two thumbs up” writing: “Morris is really a detective/director, more interested in the spaces between the facts than the facts themselves–& the film benefits greatly by the cold, frightening musical score by Philip Glass.”


James Kendrick wrote: “Morris merges both the techniques of a documentary & a feature film–& this paid off creating a film of singular uniqueness in both its aesthetic approach & its real world impact.”

So mark your calendars for this Friday, May 8, 2015, & join the  Tacoma Film Club for the showing of Errol Morris’ incredible documentary, THE THIN BLUE LINE (1988). It will be screened at Center for Spiritual Living, the church building we rent for all of our events. It is located at 206 N. J Street, on the corner of Division & J streets, across from the Group Health Hospital.

Arrive early, around 6:30 pm, and join many of us downstairs in the kitchen area for fun, fellowship, & snacks. It is permitted to bring snacks & beverages, including wine & beer, to share with others. Please remember to clean up after yourselves before coming upstairs to watch the movie. There is no food or drinks allowed in the sanctuary during the screening.

There will be a Donation Box upstairs by the entrance to the sanctuary. All donated funds will go to pay the rent for the space, & other Club expenses; the biggest of which is purchasing the annual Screening License that allows us to show films to the public.

Diane Jensen will have the 2015 TFC membership cards available. The cost of membership is still a low $20.00. This year the card is graced with Lauren Bacall. THE THIN BLUE LINE will screen at about 7:15 pm, & it runs 103 minutes, so the curtain will fall before 9:30 pm. See you at the movies !!


One thought on “THE THIN BLUE LINE @ CSL

  1. Our Discussion Night is Wednesday, May 13, 2015 at CSL. I love the fact that our Producers came up with a theatrical film at the Grand Cinema, WHILE WE’RE YOUNG, that is a fiction feature all about documentary filmmakers. Then they chose a Club member pick, RASHOMON, that created the use of the term, “Rashomon Effect” in psychology. Then we are invited to see one or all 8 of the documentaries showing at the Grand this week; capped by THE THIN BLUE LINE this Friday, with its multiple viewpoint interviews, being compared to RASHOMON. Kudos, once again, to the Producers.

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